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We Compete On Exclusivity And Emotion, Not Price Nimit Shah Gets Up, Close And Personal On The Events Management Industry

We Compete On Exclusivity And Emotion, Not Price Nimit Shah Gets Up, Close And Personal On The Events Management Industry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report By: JAVED KANA

The event management scene in Nairobi is steadily soaring to newer levels. Attributed to creative concepts and world-class execution of events, the industry is thriving on new ideas and innovations. Amidst all this is Event House Ltd’s Managing Director, Nimit Shah.
Ambitious and keen to leave a lasting impression in the events industry, the young, dynamic, proactive and passionate Nimit is setting trends in the industry.
A quick background check reveals Nimit has a Bsc Management from the London School of Economics and has served in Corporate Finance at Deloitte, London.

Over to Nimit:

Young, passionate and ambitious… what other qualities define Nimit Shah? 

I was born and raised in Nairobi, completed my undergraduate degree in Bsc. Management at LSE and subsequently qualified as a corporate financier in 2014. I consider myself to be highly goal driven, proactive and risk diverse in nature. I enjoy travelling and planning events.

Having worked at Deloitte in London in corporate finance, what convinced you to return to Kenya? Many would think that is a stable and
comfortable job to abandon.

Job security is indeed a critical factor to most people, however I felt that the opportunities in Kenya in the entertainment sector were too lucrative to be missed and I am a firm believer in the saying ‘the world is your oyster.’

As an extrovert I gravitated towards a career involving greater client interaction and I tend to flourish under pressure, a familiar scenario in many events!

However, my mother Meena Shah has been the biggest inspiration in motivating me to move back and join her in the events industry. She is an international florist and judge who started the journey in florals and events two decades ago. Her experience and leadership has enabled us to grow as a business.

Now a Director at Event House Ltd, what gave you the confidence in making your entry into Kenya’s events industry less than five years ago? 

Having done my research, I witnessed a big change in the way events were done in Kenya.

In fact, at that time the entertainment and event space were forecasted to be among the fastest growing industries in the region. I identified this as an opportunity and resolved to pursue it.

What types of events do you consider as your specialty?

Weddings, special anniversaries, private parties, company / product launches, award shows, conferences. Any happy occasion!

A lot has changed in the industry in the last 10 years – from décor to taste and trends among others. What in your opinion has been the biggest change thus?

Correct, the event industry has transformed in the past decade in terms of trends, technology and even the type of events. Technology has by far been the biggest change thus. Today social media is instrumental in attracting people to event planners and may also influence people on which events to attend or not.

Event planners now use applications for event management instead of endless and ubiquitous excel documents. Venues are now transformed using specialist lighting solutions and projection mapping techniques. There has also been an increasing need for personalized/ bespoke and experiential events. Clients and guests want to have an immersive experience at an event.

Now is an exciting time in the industry ;
having witnessed some luxurious setups – what are other trends in the market? 

Virtual reality (VR) is a trend that will change the event industry for years to come.

VR is often used for marketing and promotions enabling the users to virtually experience the product without needing to be physically present at the venue. International entertainment acts also play more significant roles in major events as guests are craving engaging experiences. With so many events happening daily, a beautiful setup is probably the most important element in an event in terms of decor and this means greater customisation to create personalised events.

Part of your job requires you to innovate, think outside the box and be ahead of your competitors. How do you maintain your edge in the market? 

Besides creativity and innovation, we get to understand our clients, their needs and desires and build a relationship with them whether it is a wedding, a product launch or a 50th anniversary celebration.

We believe that clients make their decisions based on emotion; we strive to offer bespoke solutions and even offer money back guarantees as we are confident in our ability to deliver.

Passion and attention to detail is the core of what we do and it reflects in our work, giving us an edge in the market. We compete on exclusivity and emotion, not on price.

Research has shown that discerning clients will spend more on experiences rather than products and this is what we endeavour to offer.

What inspires you in your work? 

Challenging myself on a daily basis to create unique setups. I truly believe life is about the memories and this inspires me to create memorable events. We want to create bespoke designs for our wedding clients as this is the happiest/most important day of their lives. Having a happy/appreciative client is a wonderful and intrinsically rewarding feeling that motivates us to keep going!

Your work has seen you make memories across geographies; from Nairobi to Nakuru, Dar-es-Salaam to Entebbe, Mombasa to
Diani. How do you deal with the logistics across regions? It must be challenging… 

Absolutely. It ultimately boils down to detailed planning, adequate preparation, meticulous execution and perhaps most importantly – anticipating the unexpected. Experience is the best teacher and we constantly focus on learning and improving from each event. The most challenging logistical hurdle has been an event we executed in Juba, South Sudan whereby we flew all our equipment in air cargo, including the most basic of items such as oasis and buckets which were not available widely in Juba at the time!

Every service industry has some level of customer complaints and dissatisfaction. How have you handled any such scenarios that might have possibly come your way?

Unfortunately, no event is perfect. Due to the numerous elements involved, something is bound to not satisfy the customer for whatever reason. Some factors might be within one’s control whilst others are simply not.

We deliver to the best of our ability with 100% service but we have had cases where customers are dissatisfied with the most trivial matters. We take feedback very seriously and aim to improve on every event. After all, in this industry you are only as good as your last event. 

Your take on use of social media to attract clients….

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth two thousand words (or maybe I made that up), hence posting images and videos on social media is a critical marketing tool for our business. Social media improves our brand loyalty whilst increasing brand recognition. It enables us to also connect with existing clients and serve them on a higher level.

Your favourite local destination for an event is….

Naivasha! Lush gardens, serene lake, cool weather and wildlife all in one location. 

Bust a myth about events planning…

• Anyone can do event planning (for example my friend, cousin, aunt, et cetera). 

• Event planning is easy to do, lots of fun, quick bucks and we only work part-time. 

• Every bride thinks they can become event planners after their wedding! 

Contrary to the above, event planning is highly challenging, requires a specific skill set (resilience, flexibility, multitasking, highly organised, creative and keen eye for detail), and is ranked as one of the most stressful careers out there.

An event planner’s nightmare is…. 

Last-minute venue changes, (well, every last minute change), the groom or bride getting cold feet on the eve of the wedding and calling it off, hurricanes, sudden blackouts and the bride falling in love with the event
planner!

A practice all event planners must adopt and imbibe is….

Transparency and trust.

A piece of advice to event planners and
upcoming ones is….

Event planning is about creating a seamless, immersive experience for your clients and guests as opposed to providing lots of food and drinks or lots of flowers. The challenge is how you understand and deliver this in a distinctive and original manner!

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